Top 50 Sox Seasons #23: Cy Young, 1908

21-11, 1.26/0.893/.214, 299 IP, 150 K, 37 BB, 4.5 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, 4.1 K/BB, 0.03 HR/9, 30 CG, 194 ERA+

Dead-ball era or not, a 1.26 ERA is still a 1.26 ERA, and it’s the 13th lowest in the history of the sport – yet wasn’t even the lowest in the league that year. The 41-year-old Young, in his last season with Boston, managed career lows in ERA, WHIP and opponents’ average, yet did so in a year when Addie Joss was blowing away opposing hitters at an even better pace.

Along with being his last season as a member of the Red Sox, 1908 was also Young’s last as a dominant pitcher. He would never again win 20 games, post an ERA under 2.00, post an ERA+ over 115, strike out as many as 150 batters or allow a WHIP under 1.00. He also allowed just one home run in nearly 300 innings of work that year, a club record for most innings while allowing one or fewer home runs that will certainly stand forever.

Key game: June 30. “Did you hear about what old Young did up at the American League Park yesterday?” The New York Times asks incredulously. Well, all “old Young” does is become the oldest player ever to throw a no-hitter, blanking the Yankees, 8-0. It’s Young’s third no-hitter, and his reign as the oldest to toss such a gem stands for 82 years before Nolan Ryan breaks it. Young also raps three hits and drives in four, a lone walk the only mark against his day.

2 comments… add one
  • Anachronism Control officer here………..:<) Weren't the Yankees still the Highlanders in 1908? Or are you updating as you go? Great stuff, BTW.

    dabize March 14, 2008, 9:28 am
  • The Highlanders and Yankees were used interchangeably for the first few years of New York’s AL franchise.
    The NYT headline linked above reads: “NO HITS FOR YANKEES OFF VETERAN YOUNG”
    That tripped me up too at first.

    Paul SF March 14, 2008, 9:49 am

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